Laura Sabia: The Quintessential Community Builder in Wellness and Media

Laura Sabia: The Quintessential Community Builder in Wellness and Media

Laura Sabia exudes a vibrant, positive energy that fills any room she enters. As the founder of several boutique fitness studios and lifestyle magazines in Connecticut, she has made it her mission to foster community connections and bring people together. "I'm an introverted extrovert—I love being behind my computer working on strategy, but when I'm with people, it's so fun and exciting," she says.   

Her journey into entrepreneurship happened organically. Eleven years ago, Laura was a loyal client of a national boutique fitness brand. She loved the workouts so much that she decided to open her own studio, Pure Barre, in Westport. "I was truly passionate about the product and the people," she explains. "That passion drove me forward to build a business and community around it."   

Laura expanded her fitness empire with Club Sweat and by opening four additional boutique fitness studios in Connecticut, including Pure Barre and Row House. Her studios have become about more than just working out—they facilitate human connection. Laura frequently hosts fitness challenges, anniversary celebrations, and "Sip & Shop" events that bring members together.   

Club Sweat is a boutique fitness studio that offers high-energy, low-impact workouts that are both engaging and effective. The studio's signature group elliptical workouts are designed to challenge and motivate individuals, helping them to meet their fitness goals in a fun and dynamic environment. At Club Sweat, the focus is on creating an inclusive community where fitness is seen as a lifestyle. The studio's updated elliptical machines provide a comfortable and safe workout experience, targeting all body areas and allowing members to burn up to 500 calories in just 30 minutes. The studio offers a digital fitness app where users can work out from home or on vacation and offers a variety of other workouts, including strength training and dance cardio.   

With different class levels and encouraging instructors, Club Sweat provides a community fitness experience beyond the average gym. Their mission is to make fitness a lifestyle by helping members live happier, healthier lives. "We find many clients become genuine friends with our instructors and one another," Laura explains . The tight-knit bonds forged at Club Sweat transcend physical health to also nurture mental and social well-being.    

Building Community Through Media   

In addition to the fitness studios, Laura has been the publisher of Greenwich Lifestyle Magazine for five years and has since launched Darien Lifestyle Magazine , a new publication serving the neighboring towns, including New Canaan, CT.   

She initially created Greenwich Lifestyle Magazine out of a need to market her fitness studio. But she quickly realized the magazines could serve a greater purpose—strengthening community ties at a time when people are increasingly isolated behind their screens. "We want readers to pick up the magazine each month and see familiar faces from their own community," Laura explains. "It helps people really get to know their neighbors in a meaningful way." The publications have an overwhelmingly positive tone as they report on human interest stories, charitable initiatives, openings and milestones of local establishments, seasonal happenings, and influential area figures.   

Laura has cultivated engaged readers who eagerly await each new issue. "I meet people all the time who say how sitting down with the magazine pulls them away from social media and makes them feel more tied to their hometown," she shares.   

Both magazines embody an inspirational, community-driven voice as they celebrate residents, foster inclusion, highlight happenings, and forge human connections within town borders. Laura continues to find innovative, uplifting ways to strengthen community ties, and print media has proven to be a successful avenue.   

Turning Challenges into Opportunities   

Laura makes community building look effortless, but it hasn't always been easy. She has faced her fair share of challenges over eleven years as an entrepreneur. However, her passion and determination to create human connections have enabled her to power through.   

One major challenge came when Laura had to close her fitness studios for five months during COVID-19 shutdowns. She could have thrown in the towel but instead saw it as an opportunity for innovation. "Leading with passion is so important for any entrepreneur," she asserts. "If I didn't truly believe in what I was doing, I may not have made it through some difficult situations."   

Laura doubled down on her passion, using the time to create the Club Sweat app where her loyal clients could continue doing virtual workouts from home. The app allows clients to continue breaking a sweat with Laura's incredible instructor team through virtual workouts. Users can connect wearables to track heart rate and calories burned during both livestream and on-demand classes. The app also syncs workout data with Apple's Health app for consolidated fitness tracking.   

The app simplifies planning a fitness journey with features like class searches by type and instructor, easy class and membership purchases, and calendar integration to keep track of classes. Laura turned a challenge into an opportunity to expand access to Club Sweat's motivating workouts and close-knit community. The app beautifully captured everything devotees loved about brick-and-mortar Club Sweat, just reimagined for at-home fitness in the digital era. The Club Sweat app represents a leap forward in making fitness routines exciting and accessible, embodying the studio's core values of community, fun, and self-improvement.   

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

Now thriving with several businesses under her belt, Laura wants to pay forward the lessons she's learned. She recently wrote a book called "You Can Thank Me Later: Start-up Secrets I Wish I Knew!" that will be published this coming March.   

The book shares stories and advice for women looking to start or grow their companies. Within its pages, Laura tackles topics near and dear to business owners across various sectors, spanning human resources, finance, mindset, scaling, and more.   

Laura also started an accompanying online course called "7 Days to a Better Business"—a tangible program women entrepreneurs can follow for a week to create immediate improvements in their ventures.   

The interactive course allows participants to learn from Laura's direct experience building multiple fitness studios, publications, and mentorship initiatives for female founders. Each day spotlights a critical area of business operations, like marketing, hiring best practices, financial management, and leadership development. Laura structured the lessons and supplementary workbook around a hypothetical coffee shop since cafés have relatable elements like staff, products, customers, and physical retail spaces.   

Central to the program is the notion of togetherness that has characterized Laura's community-building mission since opening her first fitness studio. That's why she envisioned the course as not just a solo learning experience but rather an incubator for connections between female entrepreneurs across industries united by shared challenges and victories. This built-in networking community enables participants to continue exchanging ideas and supporting one another even after finishing the course materials.   

"I'm creating a community for female entrepreneurs to support each other because we often face similar challenges but have no one to talk to," Laura explains. "I had no mentorship when I started out. Now I can be that resource for other women."   

Advice for Budding Entrepreneurs   

With over a decade of entrepreneurship, Laura has learned many lessons about passion, purpose, leadership, and community-building. For those looking to start their own business, Laura has several pieces of advice. Define your version of success. Not everyone will find fulfillment in having just one business. Know what you need in terms of business size, scale, day-to-day involvement, and profit to feel successful. Then, strategize how to make it happen.   

Laura radiates gratitude for every experience, connection, and lesson learned. Her tenacity and commitment to community, above all else, is what sets her apart. "Success looks different for everyone," she says. "You have to figure out what fulfills you." For Laura, fulfillment comes from empowering others to live happier, healthier, more connected lives—and that she does exceptionally well.   

Understand your employees' motivations. Don't assume money is the sole motivator. Take the time to understand what drives each team member through personality and strengths assessments. Align roles, responsibilities, and incentives appropriately.   

Trust your gut on hiring. If someone seems like a bad hire, let them go. Forcing a square peg into a round hole benefits no one. But also give grace for bad days once someone is established. Set clear expectations. Having proper structure and clarity is key. Tell employees exactly what you want to prevent chaos.   

Laura Sabia has built an inspirational wellness and media empire by leading with passion, listening to her intuition, building a strong support network, and constantly learning. And she's showing no signs of slowing down with a book, online course, and likely more ventures to come. Laura stumbled into entrepreneurship out of passion, but she's grabbed hold of the reins to create lasting, purpose-driven success.   

Connect with Laura: 

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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